tv Capital News Today CSPAN January 31, 2011 11:00pm-1:59am EST
, prof. edgar brenner, who cooperated with us for the first 30 years of the potomac, and i had the privilege of working with him for the past 35 years. we are going to have a special memorial service to celebrate his many contributions next month, and we will keep you posted. if i may, i would like to mention three publications that we worked on the past year. one has to do with for an affinity to terrorists in our midst, basically focusing on the crisis of identifying the question of loyalty to home american citizens and others will somehow become members of the terrorist groups, and i'm sure we are going to deal with that. this was one publication we had last year. the other publication is a new
nato interdisciplinary journal that we are publishing in cooperation with nato, and a particularly, with the nato center of excellence and the partnership for peace. this publication will be available to you. third, the publication that might just mentioned -- that might -- that mike just mentioned. i was able to look at the situation earlier this month in the region. just a few words about some of the findings. it seems to me that unless we see this strategic map in a way that we do not miss the quarters, then i think we are going to be in a good situation
to realistically assess the nature of the threat and what can be done to deal with the problem. if you take, for example, this issue of north africa, and we can see the developments in the past month -- for example, in geneva. we have to look at the situation in algeria and libya, mauritania, morocco, tunisia, chad, mali, and niger. on the basis of our studies since 9/11, we recorded an increase of some 558% of the number of terrorist attacks in the region. but my friends, it is not just the number of bad tax. it is the impact, and i'm afraid that with the new
developments, we are going to have an increase. clearly, it will look at the various open sources, there is no question that al qaeda and the moderate, together, jointly, with various al qaeda affiliate's, for example, the arabian peninsula -- they represent the most dangerous threat, both regionally and globally. the problem of fail-safe -- the terrorists are exploiting the open spaces in order to recruit, in order to be involved in narcotics trafficking, in human trafficking. it is unbelievable. if you go to the region and see what is going on, the links.
now, what can be done? we now have quite a number of recommendations. i would like to mention at least two. one of them is on the intelligence level, and we do have experts on intelligence who can discuss it today. intelligence, intelligence, intelligence. and sharing of intelligence is really the key. number two, a political solution to some of the problems in the region and beyond. in the region, particularly, the conflict between algeria and morocco. it does require a solution. if we are not going to have it, we are not going to have stability in europe and elsewhere. i would suggest that all of us, meaning governments, the civil
society has to participate in this effort. in the interest of time, i would like to just mention that these people who need no introduction have contributed to the national security concerns of the united states and the international community for many years, and, fortunately, they supported the academic work of the potomac and other institutions in the past 30 years as well as before that, so i'm delighted to participate in this panel, again, with our friends and colleagues.
>> thank you, very much, professor. it is great to be here with you once again and with this distinguished company we have. i'm going to speak primarily about al qaeda, not talking about other terrorist groups like hamas or hezbollah. my focus will be almost entirely al qaeda and where we stand. professor alexander just talked about the events on the 24th of january at moscow's busiest airports. demonstrates how certainly these events can occur and the damage that can be done to the entire psyche of a nation, as what happened to the united states, as you know, on september 11. this fall, on 11 september, if the current situation prevails, will be 10 years since we had a
successful al qaeda attack directly against the united states, inbound. i think this is pretty remarkable. given the fact that we have engaged in two multi-year wars in afghanistan and iraq. we have had a global intelligence-led offensive against al qaeda in all dark corners of the world, not just iraq and afghanistan. and given the complexity of the attacks that occurred back on september 11, the intelligence community forecasts there will likely be future attacks of equal if not greater intensity than what occurred on september 11. part of the reason for this pessimistic forecast was that the intelligence community's lack of understanding of the full capacities of al qaeda and its ability to conduct intercontinental attacks against the united states.
while i was never quite that pessimistic and never quite believed that, i did believe there would be additional attacks, small, violent attacks in this country, and we now know there would have been successful attacks, repeatedly, had not united states gone on the offensive to disrupt a whole series of plots that would have resulted in serious loss of american life, damage to her critical structure, and also to our national psyche. i only have to cite the aviation plot of august 2006, just to illustrate that. that was disrupted because of exquisite british intelligence. intelligence, intelligence, intelligence, as the professor said. the same can be said of the events that occurred back on the 26 and 30 of october last year where we had al qaeda in the arabian peninsula attempt to
bring down airliners using a low pressure vapor explosive disguised in hewlett-packard laser desktop printers. again, this was it intelligence, this time, from the saudis, prevented that from occurring. i've learned through my long career in intelligence, that there will be abrupt discontinuities. today, they are sort of called black swans, where there will be profound events that will change history, and we may be seeing that today in tunisia and egypt. we have all been aware of the political, economic, ethnic, religious, and geographical lines, and some of these are certain to cause conflict. it just will not be avoided. camilla events are occurring in lebanon that i think illustrates
that very much. we will be fortunate to come out of that without real conflict. we also have a great youth balch around the world. part of that is reflective of what has occurred in indonesia, where we have the enormous percentages of the national population under 25 who are unemployed or underemployed. combined with the fault lines in the middle east center of the arab/israeli dispute, i think we can see a witch's brew developing over the next decade, which will test this country in particular. for this reason, i think we have a look at terrorism in a much broader context, and i think we also have to look at the global threat from al qaeda, which stands apart from its predecessor organizations. develop a technology means some of the world's most dangerous
capabilities can be placed in the hands of a few. the recipes on the internet that anyone can study appeared al qaeda in the arabian peninsula just issued in english the new explosive manual that contains some highly accurate information on how to make explosives. it is out there for all of you to see. global communications and mass media provide a mechanism that can be used to fuel terrorism internationally. communications today provide terrorists and terrorist groups with the ability to cross national boundaries and sustain a, ideology and narrative. they permit groups to recruit new members, train them, and coordinate attacks virtually. let's look back at what happened in 2010. little has changed when it comes to the objectives of al qaeda. their goal is to attack the united states, in flint massive casualties, damage critical u.s.
infrastructure, and cause permanent psychological damage to the u.s. psyche. al qaeda takes the long view. osama bin laden has written about this. does not believe that the united states has the resiliency to remain steadfast, to take heavy losses and resist over the long term. al qaeda leaders have taken pleasure in viewing the united states as a society that recoils when there is a threat or even when there is a blame game that occurs when there is unsuccessful attempts to attack this country. i have read some interesting material over time. the united states and global alice in 2010 continued its relentless attack to disrupt, dismantle, defeat, and destroy al qaeda leadership in the federally administered tribal area. that is john brennan's phrases, special assistant to the president.
according to the press, we launched 115 so-called drone strikes in 2010 against al qaeda leaders, offered its, propagandists, and trainers. the strike still reportedly a number of al qaeda leaders. al qaeda acknowledges that the number 3 man with an al qaeda and general manager died may 2010. al qaeda central is not entirely cohesive. the nctc says there are perhaps 300 al qaeda members active, and it estimates that may be less than 100 are active inside afghanistan. contrary to popular thought, and i read this in the press and do not believe it, al qaeda leaders are not easily replaced. it takes a long time to replace good leaders. al qaeda's diminished strength in the fattah however offset, as
it tribally based pakistani group, has deep links into al qaeda central and is involved in supporting cross-border operations into afghanistan. and it has vowed to take vengeance on the united states, which it blames for the death of mature love sued back in 2009. august. you will recall that faisal sha hzad, the times square bomber, allegedly was trained by the ttp before he made his own attempt last may. it is challenged, however, i believe, extending its threat transcontinental lead to the
united states. it is a tribally based hushed tone movement, primarily. the other regional supporter is the harkani network. he was minister of trouble affairs in the taliban government. the networks provide the manpower to al qaeda for cross border operations into afghanistan, and the al qaeda network allegedly, according to the press, made room extremists for suicide operations. we could always spend time talking about the kashmiri-based group focus primarily on conducting attacks in india, but none of these affiliated groups really are the type that have the intent and objective of really attacking here in this country. al qaeda affiliate's, affiliated
networks continued to decline in 2010. the one decimated back in 2007, 2008, 2009 remains dormant. in the philippines, the leaders are killed or captured. as you recall, this was more of a thuggish group than a purveyor of islamic extremism, but i do have, as professor alexander manchin, concerns about north africa and east africa. let's look at al qaeda and the islamic mahgreb. it functions as a umbrella organization for a collection of organizations determined to attack what they see as apostate regimes. the bulk of the forces are located in southern algeria, no. bali, and mauritania. they have rated archaeological
sites and tourist areas. they specialize in kidnapping. and extracting significant ransom in order to fuel their operations. as you know, they have kidnapped a significant number of westerners, including a number of frenchmen, which they still hold. i think we have not seen them attack into western europe, but i think they may become more emboldened as the kind of disturbances occur as occurred in geneva. i think we have to watch aqim closely, and i'm thankful to professor alexander for studying this initiative. we know that al qaeda and tunisian merge with al qaeda in saudi arabia in 2009. it is very much an insurgent group, resurgent in its effort to attack the united states in the west. it thrives in the in government areas of yemen.
it conducted numerous attacks in 2010 in south yemen, particularly in the government's. most prominence extremists we know well. a u.s. citizen who provide spiritual sanction for those who may wish to commit suicide in the name of al qaeda. it also -- it also continues to provide propaganda efforts against the west. although didn't and under pressure, the voice is still heard. on the ninth of november 2010, he issued a of a new video. if you read it, which i did, it could be summed in two words -- kill americans.
we have already addressed the hewlett-packard laserjet cartridges, but it has done something else. a published last year its first edition of a web-based journal of propaganda directed at inciting violence acts, especially young muslims, living in the united states, the united kingdom, and other western states. this is an electronic magazine, potential to trigger young and alienated muslims to commit acts of violence in the united states and canada in particular because there are many canadians that really follow al aki. there is no question about that. it is directly linked to al qaeda central, operating in somalia, and it continues to wage a fairly successful insurgency against the transition of national
government, backed by the united nations, certainly backed by united states. several thousand young americans of somali descent have travel to somalia to fight for them. at least a couple have murdered themselves, committed suicide operations in that fight. our concern is not about an inbound threat directly from central, but from those who have gone to somalia, train, by in military operations, and return. many still radicalized and capable of committing terrorist acts. al shabab remains a fertile ground for recruiting extremists not only in united states but also in western europe. one of the things that has occurred in the last year, i believe, is a greater prominence of radicalization, especially among young, muslim youth in the
west. in europe as well as in north america. according to a study that was published in 2010, there were only 46 publicly reported cases of radicalization and recruitment to g hottest terrorism in the united states between september 11, 2001 and the end of 2009. only 125 people were identified as part of these 46 cases. 13 of those cases, however, occurred in 2009, which is a very sharp uptick. as you know, in 2010, the number of cases has increased. we had the case back on november 26 where we had someone in portland oregon trying to detonate a car bomb at a christmas tree lighting. we also had an arrest of antonio martinez in baltimore, who was
going to attack with a bomb at an armed forces recruiting center. the individuals involved were self-inspired and self- motivated. they were not directed from al qaeda central or from aqap over in yemen. they were u.s. citizens or held legal immigration status. the central theme of each plot involves placing explosives in areas that were murdered innocent americans who were attending very benign evens. western europe, and i know perhaps we will hear more from our ambassador from spain, is also a focus of al qaeda plotting, and there have been a number of arrests across a number of countries in europe, including spain. there are reports involving radicalized individuals, some of whom were allegedly preparing to
stage a mom by -- a mumbai-type attack. the threat was so severe that the department of state issued an intelligence advisory warning americans going to europe of possible attacks on europe's public transport system or tourist attractions. british authorities recently arrested in december 9 men on terrorism charges. the state of the individuals found -- they stated individuals found bomb making instructions on the internet journal. if you have not read it, i recommend all of you do. the electronic journal is in an easy to understand english. it is not heavy on ideology like a lot of the old homes -- teh old -- the old tomes that
used to come out of the propaganda arm. it is a lot more clever, a lot more persuasive but there is something there. we must keep our perspective on radicalization here in this country. the pier research study of may 2007 still stands, i think, alone, i am pointing out that american muslims are overwhelmingly, decidedly american in outlook, values, and attitudes. hard work pays off in society. they have high income levels, a good education. most american muslims, by a two to one margin do not see a conflict between being a devout muslim and living in a modern society. my concerns were only over a tiny minority of muslims, a number of whom are converts, and some who remain strongly linked with islamic countries overseas
where extremist groups are flourishing. many of these new immigrants have arrived in the united states in the last 15 to 20 years as refugees and asylum seekers. some have become strongly attracted to the anti-western, especially anti-u.s. forces in their countries of origin. political, religious, and social tensions that exist in a particular community in the united states may mirror tensions in these other countries. these tensions may be reflected in the belief held by many muslim countries that the united states is at war with islam. this affinity with violent groups abroad is reflected again in the somalia case. somali immigrants coming to this country -- and i spent a lot of time working this when i was the undersecretary at homeland security. they found assimilation
difficult. they felt alienated. many retain this clan affinity back to somalia with the civil war. and they felt attracted to the radical imams in this country. as i said, the first generation of those fighters, some of them have returned, and others will. i think we have just as much concern about the second generation. these are not naturalize like the first generation, but they are naturalized americans, young men in their teens who are still influence. to date, the self-radicalized sells detected in the united states and canada have lacked a level of sophistication, experience, and access to resources of terrorist cells overseas. their efforts have been in the nascent stages, and many of their efforts have been amateurish, but it is not the success.
it is the intent, and eventually, they will get it right. given what i have outlined, i believe we have every reason to be concerned about terrorism in 2011 and beyond. as we know how quickly al qaeda metastasized after 911. al qaeda central may be slowly dying, but its tentacles around the world live on in very remote areas, and those tentacles will remain alive for years to come, and i cannot overstate the power of the internet, for fueling the growth of radicalization in this country and obviously in western europe as well. many of the extremists recruited in the united states began their journey on the internet where they readily found resonance and reinforcement of their own this committed use and people who with legitimate and direct their answer. so the outlook for al qaeda and
its objective in inflicting major damage to the united states and western countries has not changed, and the threat is very much with us and will remain so in 2011 and beyond. i look forward to your questions. thank you. >> thank you very much, charlie, for this overview of the past year and outlook for next year. no wonder that you are considered a legend and extraordinary senior official working in the field for over 40 years. our next speaker is also a official who had an opportunity to work in this area for the past four decades as a senior
diplomat, ambassador in a number of countries -- for example, more of go he served, also, and malta, montevideo, more recently in new york, but in addition to his diplomatic background, he was also the director of spain's national center of intelligence, and we appreciate very much, mr. ambassador, for participating in this event. we have the honor to hosting you as well as your colleagues. i recall the prime minister spoke at one of our seminars, and i found one of the interesting quotations i think the best describes what is the nature of the terrorist, and he said, "whoever murders in the
name of a country, a guide, for a social and economic system is neither a patriot, a believer, or an idealist, just a murderer ." mr. ambassador. >> thank you very much indeed. thank you very much. i would like to thank michael, the potomac institute, and my friend who was instrumental in bringing me here today, and for thinking that my remarks might be of interest to you. i will do my best. i will try to say something practical and direct. i remember a long time ago, i
was traveling with by foreign minister at the time. traveling with the irish minister at the time. we were waiting one morning in madrid airport for a plane to come down from paris to pick us up and go to tunis. i remember the prime minister called that morning to the foreign minister and ask where we were. i said i was at the airport, saying that we were going to to the ship, and he asked if we're going the wrong direction, because that same night, the regime had fallen. today, we talk about terrorism, which is important, but the center of attention is in the arab world, happening in those countries, so close to spain, too.
but charles bowen is giving us, i think, an excellent overview of the current situation, the current threats that we face, the situation of terrorism in the world, the different factions, what they are trying to do, and my conclusion would be the we had better be worried. do not be at ease because a terrorist attack is possible. they keep on trying all the time. sometimes, we have been able to prevent them from carrying out their purposes. i can tell you that during my experience heading of the intelligence service in spain, we boarded some terrorist attempts in my country. i know because president obama has said in a public the you have done the same here in the united states, all the security forces keep on working day and
night, as you say here, 24/7, working on that. but at the same time, as i say, they keep on trying, and they have all the advantages in their favor because they can choose the wind, the house, the moment. bake at -- they learn all the time. -- they can choose the when, the moment.e we learn from each other all the time, and the more we cottbus make our tactics better to combat them, the better prepared they are. sometimes, we are just lucky, as happened with the terrorist that tried to blow up a plane one year ago and ended up burning himself.
or in the case of times square more recently. so they keep on trying. i can see different types of terrorist. on one hand, you have the ethnic national terrorist. then, you have those who try to use religion as an excuse, a preferred form of religion, to suit their interests and to use in their benefit. then, we have some sort of anarchists or -- i think anarchism belongs more to the past, if you wish, but badly adapted people carrying out
their frustrations. then, we have a more organized sort of terrorism in the case of narco-terrorism. we are having it in mexico nowadays. it is very sad, but we have terrorism of the service of the state, states using terrorism to foster their objectives. let me say a few words because i was not going to talk about that because i do not think it is clearly looking for oxygen, you know. it is my belief that they are reliving their last moments, and i'm very happy to say so. it is very easy to kill one person, and they might do it again, but it is becoming expensive to kill.
people do not condone that any longer. eta has killed over 900 people -- members of the military, members of the police force, judges, journalists, politicians. i'm on their list, but it is not an honor, which i can tell you. i do not know how many truces they have declared. and all of them have ended when one has been coming for them. it is my sincere belief they are looking for oxygen and trying to internationalize their cause because they know it is the last possibility they really have. i do not think that the policy followed by the prime minister was very effective. what he tried to do was isolate eta from its social base and
declared the new political party. that decision was declared just unfair by the european court of justice. so there are ways -- they are cutting their ways of obtaining money, cutting their ways of obtaining weapons, and isolating them, and i think it has been pretty successful. we do think that is the last attempt to get some oxygen in order to reorganize themselves. we are not going to give them oxygen. we are going to keep combating them and trying to take advantage of these moments of weakness. the best country has its government, its parliament, its police force, its television in the local language, including those who are -- want
independence from spain. there is a very small group that are illegal because they are pushing that objective through peaceful means. the only thing we ask is to lead the weapons inside and, and they will not explain because we will not give them any possibility to take political advantages of killing political components. that is a line we will not cross. i think finally, we will realize that it is better to push whatever political objectives they understand through peaceful, political means. i would say that intelligence services on police forces nowadays have a lot of information, and are drawn on information, be it through intelligence -- how do you call
it? intelligence of signals, being human intelligence, open sources. there is a lot of information. the problem is connecting the dots. that is the main problem, and the most -- connecting the dots in different ways. on the one hand, among agencies. what happened here september 11 -- that is what happened in spain march 11. different services in charge of the police and intelligence services. had we put all the information on the table that we had at the time, probably, something would have come out. and i think the same happened here. it is also important to be able to connect the dots. sometimes it does not happen.
it is important to connect the dots with all the services because sometimes, there's almost nothing you can do. if you steal a credit card, or you rent a car with false documents, or you take a bus from one place to the other, you put all of those things together, you have a terrorist plot, but if you consider them in an isolated way, if you only have minor crimes, very difficult, and we were experiencing that in europe. i do not think that great progress has been made in this field over the last year's because it was very frustrating. we've got everything together. it was impossible to hide that.
so, connect the dots, i think, is the main objective. and i think we have to have our priorities clear. i mean to combat terrorism and reduce our vulnerabilities. we have to protect our critical network. we have to protect our border. we have to be clear on immigration. we have to be able to change data and to incorporate it into passports from documents or id's period change information on banking. the european parliament has approved the agreement, and now, we have a passenger name record. we expect that that will be
solved in the near future. but because of the limits and protection of personal data, but at the same time, we not only have to combat terrorism immediately, but we have to have a longer term vision, and we have to fight against the reasons, the causes, which are sometimes the frustration in the lack of political channels, participation, or the inequality, poverty, failure, in the process of modernization of certain societies. for example, they have copied the models imported from the west and have produced political corruption and economic inefficiency sometimes. we have to fight against double
standards, and we have to look at ourselves. we bridge one thing, and sometimes, the other. we are bridging democracy, but when it comes out that hamas is the outcome of that democracy, we take a step backwards for -- i mean, you know what i'm talking about. at the same time, a global approach and cultural dialogue, religion dialogue. .
you have topped off a couple of heads and then let us go through our own process, and made people will have to chop some heads off. we have to get to know each other, and sometimes in still our system of values, which is good for us. sometimes they are based on our experience in years of evolution. i would say we're worried about
what might happen in europe and the moon by attack -- the mumbai attack. we have interest in africa and we are at war with what is happening in the city into the atlantic, which ideas, weapons. everything is a you know running out of control. with all of this, well, in the case of the cyber attacked is the name of the game nowadays. it is something very new, and i do not know if we are well prepared to protect our essential lines in this field,
at the banking, stock exchange common defense. it happened here, it happened in the subway in tokyo. then we worry by what is the greatest nightmare, which is the lone wolf. what happened in [inaudible] recently. it is a very interesting program in the framework of the european union. copra was salvaged back in 2008. 14 countries are working in participating in that. it tries to work on the early detection of these velone wolves
terrorists. apparently they follow the same pattern of evolution. in any case, what is very important is that anything to combat terrorism has to be done within the rule of law, creating a balance between security, pprofessional freedoms. our world is more secure than 50 years ago, but it is more than certain on a private and personal level, the risk is overreacting.
security is impossible -=- the other day i was listening to radio attack talking about the program talking about a terrorist attack. we should do something in order to go through security at the airport. we have to go through security outside there. moscow has 20 million passengers per year. you know, my impression is that it can be done, but then you find the attack difficult and could they will go somewhere else. you cannot protect everything over time. then it will make flights
terribly uncomfortable. we have been accepted more and more things every day on the basis of security. i think that we have to learn to live a certain degree of vulnerability. we're crumble and that is part of our freedom of the same time. -- we are honorable and that is part of our freedom of the same time. any restrictions of personal freedom has to be clearly defined to avoid abuses, taken only when absolutely necessary, always of the minimal possible level, always temporarily limited, and always under the law and parliament control. because otherwise we will give a victory to the terrorists. thank you very much. [applause]
>> thank you very much, mr. ambassador, for your great insight and extensive experience. the bottom line is to strike a balance between security and considerations -- between security considerations and human-rights. clearly this will be on the agenda in the coming months and years, and only in the united states but throughout the world. our next distinguishing kidder ispeaker is an ambassador who also has an extensive background of diplomatic serving in italy and moscow and elsewhere. we have the honor and pleasure to have the ambassador speak at
the number of times, and one of the most learning lessons that you gave us i remember when you send that we are all in the same boat -- you said we are all in the same boat. so either we are going to sail the sea and be safe on land or sink. >> thank you. it is a pleasure to be here at the potomac institute. we have been working together for a number of years, and this is another opportunity for me to speak about what is going on in the region and how we work on
terrorism. i am very honored to be with this panel, especially with my friend and colleagues. you know that we have been working quite strongly, the united states and morocco, but also spain and morocco. spain and morocco are neighbors and we are threatened by common threats, especially terrorism, and we have been working very closely together. morocco has suffered terrorism a few years ago. we have the terrorist attack in 2003 and some others in 2007, although in 2007 i think that that was what my friend sen called the solitary are lower tariffs. some borrow them up and what
part of an organization. -- someone blew them up and was not part of an organization. we never thought that something like that could happen in morocco, especially from the doings of moroccans. we immediately had huge demonstrations. 1 million people in the street against terrorism. this is something i would like to underline, which is important purita. here in the united states and europe people find that muslim people cannot stand against terrorism it is very opposite of the press and tv is that terrorist attacks, it is never what the reaction is. in morocco we have brought reaction from the people,
1,500,000 people in the streets against terrorism. that was news. and that is torn to know. -- important to know. in 2003 we found ourselves in a terrorist attack, and we seriously thought morocco was immune. no country is immune as i said a few years ago. we are on the same boat and everyone can be struck by terrorism. it can happen here and anywhere. in let me give you an example of what has been happening in morocco for the last few years and how we counter and try to counter the terrorism. well, through many ways. first, security. in the wake of the 2003 attack
the parliament passed an anti- terrorist law and our security forces are working 24/7. every now and then, every few months, you hear statements from terrorists saying we have dismantled a cell here or there. it has been working pretty well. that is the security part of it. i think that the security services have been working pretty well with good results. we have not had any terrorist attacks in the last few years. that is good. we hope not to have any. lately, months ago we dismantled a cell where we found some -- sl in the the stuff rf -- a cell in the samara.
that shows we have to be always aware that anything can happen, and the security forces in morocco work pretty well and have had some very good results. so that is the security part of it, but we also felt there were many other things to do, and particularly make sure that the terrorist groups will not find easily people to highere to organized terrorist attacks. we thought that through democracy, opening up social reforms through poverty reduction through also reorganizing the religious field
was very important. lately we have heard about terrorism and mainly islamic terrorism. this is where among the most of the terrorist attacks in the world are coming from so-called islamic groups. well, it is important that people know exactly what religion is. as long, like every religion is against violence. -- is lonlam, like every religi, is against violence. iyou know the famous first that says killing one person is like killing the whole humanity. so people have to know -- that was very important.
we reorganize the religious field and morocco. you cannot -- you have to talk about religion and go through many years of studies. this is how we use to be before. suddenly we found ourselves in the beginning of the 90's just because someone had read two pages of the car rokoran. in morocco we have the council religious scholars, and only then cam can give opinions on islam. we went through the textbooks. we are teaching islam in
schools the right way with very precise way of what it is come of the real islam. that is important. we also created a tv network, and interactive tv network where people can put questions and have answers on religious issues, and it is very important because rock fans are very religious. 99 percent son of moroccans are muslims, and probably 99% are believers. in religion is a very important part of life in morocco. we also trained women who are working in places like mosques, hospitals, prisons, schools,
because it is easier for women and families to interact with women. that is a very important thing that we have done. we tried to restructure and make sure the religious field is what it should be in morocco. people are more aware. going to making sure that having less and less people -- the moroccan people thinking that the whole country, that they have a stake in the future of the country, that is very important and what we try to do. the level of poverty, the number of people living under party -- poverty, and i think we have had some success -- the number of people living under the line of poverty is around 9%. that is a result of what was called the national human
development initiative that was announced a few years ago. the initiative was to make sure that the economic development that we have had in the past few years would trickle down to everyone and make sure that everybody in the country would have a stake in the future of the country. that is also something very important that you have to do in order to make sure that the terrorist groups will not find a place to hire people. iagain a something that i say very often, the best place to find terrorism is security, the services, but the best way is also to review the people themselves. they're often we dismantled
cells because the people called the police and security forces and told them there was something strange happening and this is how often we dismantle cells and we prevented some terrorist attacks. so again, reorganizing the religious field, making sure the economy, making sure the country is business friendly to have a strong economy, making sure that the benefits of the economy trickle-down to the lowest levels of the population, those are the measures that the country has taken in the last few years also, opening up of the political field, meaning
that we have had since the late 1990's a political system opened up in the sense that we have had free and fair elections, political parties. we have a very brighvibrant political society. we make sure that everyone has a part in the future of the country. of course not everything is rosy, and we have many challenges that are detailed in a report that was written by a commission that was appointed by the king and the report is called h.d.r. 50. i think the same people are going to write another report in publish another report in the next few months to say what is
the status and what has happened in the last five years after the first report was written. the report was h.d.r. 50, meaning what happened in morocco in the last 50 years. the good decisions, the bad decisions. the good thing that has happened in morocco is the debate is there. everyone talks. the press is pretty free. the government has its share of attacks from the press, but the debate is there, and that is important. and this commission that was appointed by the king states and does exactly what the problems and the challenges are and how and what will happen if we do not address the challenges and what should be done to address those challenges. that is important, and you can find that on the internet. that is the good thing about internet. and let me talk about what we have been doing internationally.
we have been working with all the countries around the world to defeat the threat of terrorism and intelligence, intelligence, intelligence. i think that is the most important thing. we believe in morocco there is no other way. that if there is not the cooperation between all the countries in the world globally but also regionally, we will never be able to address the challenges that we ar have in ft of us. this leads me to talk about what is going on in the south. let me tell you we're very worried about what is going on in the south. it goes from the atlantic to the south sea. in it it goes from morocco to somalia. it is morocco, chad, and other
countries in the region. we are worried because as you have read and heard, there have been a lot of -- al qaeda has been more active lately. al qaeda was started by -- a change of name from the terrorist group and algerian terrorist group that is trying to get as many people in the region as they can. they're very difficult to control, and this is a place where they can do what ever they want and they are very mobile. and we are seriously worried
about what is going on there. then we have seen many kidnappings, and probably they will prepare a tax and countries of the region. in the kidnapped atourists, and have killed people, but another thing that is really worrying is basically we are seeing people -- the drug traffickers are using these places, this huge enormous places that are very difficult to control to convey drugs to europe, which has become and i heard a few days ago that europe now is a bigger
market for drugs in the united states for the first time in history. so we see the drug traffickers using west africa to convey drugs to the market in europe. that is very dangerous. you will see in the future this combination at of al qaeda drug trafficking and human trafficking. basically what was happening in columbia a few years ago. this is very dangerous and very difficult to address. they will have the drug money coming into the countries, which are really poor. it will be very difficult to defeat that. because then everything is a
libel an. if we do not address those issues immediately, we will have serious problems in the future. to address those issues, there is no other way than regional cooperation. cooperation between all countries of the region. all the countries in the region talking about the country's one by one, countries of the south, but also europeans and of course the united states. all of this is very dangerous. this is just across the atlantic from the united states. it can be a really serious threat. i think that we should address that. the only way to do is to work altogether and countries of the region should releasereally exce information and work together. that is the only way. that is the message i am going to send here.
and when i say regional corporation, i am talking about regional cooperation in security, but also regional cooperation between the countries of the region in terms of economy, development, and that will lead -- let's say that what we did in morocco and what we're trying to do and rocker to address the terrorist threat should be done regionally, but through development addressing all of the issues and trying to address the issue through the security cooperation. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, mr. ambassador, for alerting us to the nature of the threat in the region and
what must be done in order to reduce the risks. as you know, my recent trip to the region confirmed that some of your concerns, which is not only concerns of morocco and the region but the international community and we see the writing on the walls. what i would suggest is we open up some discussion for about 15 minutes and then we're going to have some closing remarks. i would be very grateful if you identify yourself just for the record, and keep your question very short periot.
>> [inaudible] i would like to ask, regarding egypt, where there could be risks of more radical groups. have you see that current situation in egypt? how you see the events unfolding there? -- how do you see the events unfolding there? >> i think it is very difficult to say how it will unfold. i think that' i am not on the ground and have no information, so i cannot comment on that. i am sorry. >> i would just like to say
that we are obviously concerned about radical elements taking advantage of this serious national unrest, which i think is -- has spread broadly throughout the country. how far this will go is much too early to say. there are radical elements that we have seen in the past and egypt and the muslim brotherhood and we have to just wait and assess. >> ok, stand up, please. >> what you did in your country, why is it not done in other countries in the region? thank you. . .
>> thank you, jeff steinberg. at the height of the 2008 financial crisis, the head of the u.n. office on drugs and crime said that about the only liquidity available for international markets was the flow of drug money and since several of the ambassadors and others have talked about the drug factor, the narco terrorism factor, i'd like to
get a sense of why it seems that there's such an impediment to reaching a really clear international consensus and strategy for tackling this drug dimension whts so obvious that 95% of the world's opium and heroin's coming out of afghanistan and i understand that there's been splits and disagreements even within nato over how to address this drug and drug money aspect of terrorism. >> i can tell you -- i was the ambassador to morocco. there is a lot of cocaine traffic from colombia, for example, reaching europe through western africa and spain.
in the case of morocco, corp. between security forces of both countries seized about 300,000 tons of marijuana in a single year, for example. if that is seized, how much goes through? i do not know. it is difficult to know. cooperation is pretty good. these agreements -- in the case of both countries. corporations are extremely good. when you're talking about poppet coming out of afghanistan, i do not know. but you are probably right. one of the things that we have seen lately is the cocaine flow
into europe. until now, it was paid in money. now part of the price is in cocaine itself. so cocaine consumption is growing in northern africa this is a new development. we have to find out how to fight against that. i can tell you, and that worries a lot of the security services in the world. we have not been able to come to an agreement on exactly what is terrorism what is not terrorism. i know what it is, but try to define it. >> kimberly dozier, ap. a question for the ambassador and 14 charles allen. charles, the revolt that we are
seeing in egypt, indonesia, was it a failure of the intelligence community to see it coming? to the ambassadors, you both spoke about applying that is to decrease radicalization in your country that leads to militancy. many methods that could be applied here? >> let me answer the first question. there had been a series of assessments over the years which spoke about problems that could develop, certainly in north african countries, like tunisia, which was up or tearing and had corrupt elements. there were also concerns about egypt and its long-term ability to last under an authoritarian leader of 30 years.
on a strategic bases, the intelligence community has done well. for 10 years, i sat on the national intelligence board and pass judgment on many assessments. on the technical front, it is extremely hard to say what will set off this and dry tinder that exists in certain countries. >> ok. anyone else? >> metz's to decrease realization -- radical -- methods to decrease radicalization in our own country? >> it is difficult to give advice to american officials. i think on the is on the side, it is teaching the right is
long. people know exactly what their religion is. -- right islam. we have to make sure people are not disenfranchised. of course, security is an important component of addressing the issue. >> something which it astonishes me, as a european, is the facility by which you can get weapons. i know the first amendment and everything but it is difficult to understand. >> voice of america television. al-qaeda and other extremists have been taking a advantage of unemployed youth, taking advantage of the inequalities and oppression. in this situation, do you
believe al-qaeda and other extremists will take advantage of this tinderbox? >> al qaeda worked very hard through its affiliates, as you know, hundreds of affiliated extremist websites. they have continuously argued there are apostate regimes in the middle east that need to be overthrown, violently, in some cases, and they have been able to continue. weather is in yemen, north africa. -- whether it is in yemen, north africa. this is a long standard in the logical campaign that has been relatively unaffected.
in this country, it is not so much the poverty, but the conflict that has attracted somalis. pakistanis who may see america at war with islam, which is not the, but reportedl, incessant made month after month without counter from the countries in the region helping to counter this, it does take a toll and people to become radicalized. young people, in particular, where you have some people using hip-hop, speaking english, not using the traditional al qaeda chance, which we know are wrong about his long. those are very enticing to the
youths. -- about islam. >> the u.s. has been supporting president mubarak for the past 20 years. do you think and this anti-u.s. feeling can be exporteexploitedl qaeda? >> statistics, polls indicate that there has been a problem of perception. as we know, president mubarak has been pivotal in the middle east. he has helped to move toward a palestinian-israeli settlement. many a great contribution he has made over the years. so we need balance between
security and independent expression. >> my question is for charles allen. are you expressing concern over use of the internet by terrorist groups to transmit their doctrine, instructions to blogs and social networks? intelligence agencies, with all of their means, are they not able to use this information and analyze it to find out information about these terrorist organizations? isn't this a two-way street in some ways? >> you are absolutely right. intelligence agencies do assess
the ecological propaganda and look at trends, clusters, groups of individuals who may be engaging in some kind of nefarious activity through the internet. we have a very good ability to look across the most apparent websites and interpret and analyze and provide quality assessments to our policy makers. but it is also a means of turning those arguments against them. it is a two-way street. we work to exploit and send messages the other way affectively. >> we are going to take one more question. >> voa news and broadcasting in
pakistan. you talked about al qaeda. in the past couple of years, we have seen pockets of radical organizations showing up in pakistan. do you think they have the potential to become as in cities as al qaeda? what would you advice to intelligence officials in pakistan -- not that they need help -- i do not want to offend them. but is there any help that you might give them in terms of handling these pockets of new radical organizations? >> the taliban has been around in pakistan for a few years. these are regional, tribal-based organizations. i do not believe they have the
global vision or interest that canada usama bin laden -- an usama bin laden has. are there dangers organizations there? we saw what happened in mumbai, and horrific event that occurred on november 31. but their primary interests relate to india, disputes over kashmir. their goals are not to become an extremist organization. there is an old minister, the head of tribes in taliban, he is
now running the network. again, that is directly linked with al qaeda. it does take opportunities to train operatives, and make room operatives for future operations for al qaeda. but again, it is tribally and regionally based. it is not al qaeda. >> the former general counsel to the senate committee on intelligence and former deputy head of the intelligence agency. he is going to make some brief remarks. >> thank you, yonah. my job here at this stage in the proceeding is to throw a bomb or
two at the audience, intellectually, and get people thinking about more fundamental issues. i am a veteran of the cold war. i not only served in the senate as counsel for the intelligence committee. i spent 15 years of my life overseas as well. i was on the start delegation for four, five years. i retired couple of times and was called back to serve in the transition in 2001. i was in the pentagon but it was hit by the airplane. that is an experience i have written about personally. i served in a bunch of jobs there before retiring and coming to work here at this organization. so my views are not going to be
legalistic here. i am going to be talking essentially about policy-kinds of issues. and also, i am not talking about all kinds of terrorism. i appreciate the ambassadors articulation of the different categories of terrorism. i will not talk about all categories. i will be talking about the big ones. it is scary. we all know what is coming. we had a congressional panel last year that said, it is not a matter of if, but a matter of when we are going to have another large attack in this country which is going to be characterized by the use of wmd's of some kind.
so my comments are aimed in that vein. as a veteran of the cold war, the cold war was long, arduous. we spent a ton of money on it but we had some really smart people writing our policy doctrine. that guided us to deal with the cold war and ultimately wind iw. the war on terrorism, or whatever you want to call it, has not been characterized that way. we do not have the same kind of thoughtful headwork that should be guiding our policies and doctrines. we just do not have that. i could tell you the reasons for
it, and that is another subject, and it is essentially a jurisdictional issue in the u.s. government for us not having cold war-types of policies. that has been a central theme of the writings i have done. i have been critical of our government's policy, or lack there of, for the past 10 years, and it has remained consistent through the bush administration, now into the obama administration. all this reminds me of a story. i like to tell stories that illustrate basic points. my dad once told me about the
pig with the wooden leg. i sort of put us into a category where we are the pig with the wooden leg. the farmer was prosperous, but all his friends asked him, you are doing well, so why you have a pig with a wooden leg? he said, that is my most voluble take. i do not want to eat it all at once. so we are in a position of sawing off our interests one piece at a time when we do not have the kind of basic policies we need. i want to talk about three things we need to talk about. attribution, deterrence, and targeting. the first of these, attribution, probably is applicable to the early stages of a terrorist threat as it
begins to manifest itself. we need to be thinking really hard about when we attribute acts to a particular terrorist organization, or more particularly, a state sponsor. and we need to feel comfortable doing that with circumstantial evidence. we do not need smoking guns here. we are talking about risks over measure the benefits here. what so when do we and how do we the tribute acts, and who do we attribute them to? in my assessment, we need to be prepared to say that we are going to do it on the best judgments of our intelligence community, legal community,
political community -- whoever else -- but we ought not to be afraid to make a state sponsorship attribution early on when a terrorist threat manifests itself. secondly, deterrence. a lot of people say, well, you cannot deter these crazy guys. they are going to kill themselves. you cannot deter someone like that. possibly true, not that guy, but you have to find out who you can deter and come up with policies that deter that person or group or entity. part of it deals with attribution, but you have to come up with ways to deter. is it that you cannot deter terrorism, or is it that we have not figured out how to do it? >> we have to think hard about
that. there are some smart guys in the room that have to come up with some of the things we have to deter. targeting. again, sort of a pig with a wooden leg story. i went to geneva in 1985 when we were to resume talks with the soviet union. this was after president reagan announced the star wars initiative, which got the soviets attention and got them to call us back to the start negotiations that they walked out of in 1982. you might remember that. i was asked to be the secretary representative on defense and space talks. we went over there and expected to get all kinds of propaganda, political messages on the evils
of strategic defense, that sort of thing. we got some of that, but you know what we got more than anything else? i may have gotten it more than anyone else because i was representing mr. weinberger there. what we got was, tell us about pd59? that?do you mean by if you do not know what that is, pd59 was written by leon/enter. perhaps not known for his aggressive stance toward the soviets. he wrote a targeting doctrine. it was quite intricate and it was hotly debated. but it was signed off on by the president.
the targeting doctrine was, look, leaders in the soviet union, in the event of a war, you are all going to die. we are going to kill you. we are going to target you and here is how we are going to do it. it went through that in graphic detail. if you are interested in pd59, i encourage you to go on line and read the declassified parts. that is what they asked me about. they wanted to know why that doctrine came out under jimmy carter. it seemed different from his approach in general u.s.-soviet negotiations. and whether it was real. soviets believed at the time that everything was a conspiracy.
is it really the doctrine? i had so many people asking me, i knew they must have been testing and asking all members of the delegation. it was later transitioned -- when ronald reagan came in -- but the concept really got their attention. it is the kind of thinking we need to be doing to put teeth into state sponsorship of terrorists. we need to be thinking about targeting leaderships. i am not talking about drone attacks. i am talking about the strategic-kind of thinking that goes into the kind of war i began talking about. that is what will bring a weapon of mass destruction to this country, as the panel says, before 2013, not a matter of if,
but when. so attribution, deterrence, and targeting. we need that kind of thinking, basic, strategic thinking that will control our doctrine and political responses to the terrorism that threatens our bibles. thank you very much. -- vitals. [applause] >> thank you for your analysis. as i was thinking -- when you spoke -- i was thinking, we just marked the release of american hostages from iran.
you trigger a lot of questions, whether we should have similar policies with the iranians continuing to develop weapons of mass destruction. now i am going to call on my friend and colleague, the chairman of the international law. >> i would rather sit here if you can hear me. i am not an expert. this is going to be a different kind of closing from the last one. i have listened carefully to our speakers and have just a few thoughts. it was clear, today's discussion was going to be bright and energetic. i am grateful for the review we have had on intelligence. a few words on perspective.
one, the importance of the rule of law. i am a law professor. the rule of law is very important. in every society -- thinking now it is the u.s. n-- important for us to balance our values and our liberties. i once worked for a law professor that said we cannot afford the luxury of civil liberty. i thought it was a stupid observation when i was younger. the second observation is, yes, we have to deal with the issues of security, but there are greater security is there. the security of an open dynamic. we must never lose sight of the overwhelming portion of open society. when you think of security, you kind of close down, so that will be an important tradeoff.
egypt reminds us that maybe the greatest security issue is having a highly intelligent foreign policy. the u.s. is so entangled with some of the interests, the trade-offs and balances are awfully hard to get right. it is so easy to criticize and so much harder to do. i think the american psyche also remains important. i have heard that expression used. i think of the u.s. as the greatest shows will experiment in history -- social experiment in history. as a society, we all have to grapple with these things. .
putting ourselves on a better, more sustainable path and pushing ahead on the road to growth. >> find and watch this year's state of the state addresses as well as inaugurals from the nation's governors online at the c-span video library. search, watch, clip and share. with every program since 1987. you're watching c-span, bringing you politics and public affairs every morning it's "washington journal," our live call-in program about the news of the day, connecting you with elected officials, policymakers and journalists. week days, watch live coverage of the u.s. house and week nights congressional hearings and policy forums. also, supreme court oral arguments. on the weekends, you can see our signature interview programs. on saturdays, the communicators, and on sundays, news makers, q&a and prime minister's questions from the british house of commons. did you -- can also watch our programming any time at c-span.org and it's all searchable at our c-span video
library. c-span, washington your way. a public service created by america's cable companies. >> in a few moments a discussion with the executive editor and washington bureau chief of the new york times about the state of journalist -- journalism. in an hour and 15 minutes, a world economic forum to on the global economic outlook. after that, a review of last year's terrorist attacks and what they may mean for this year. later, a report on the status of the law that authorizes state and local law enforcement officers to screen people for immigration status. a couple of live events to tell you about tomorrow morning. the senate budget committee focuses on the economic outlook for the next 10 years. that's here on c-span at 10:00 eastern. and also at 10:00 on c-span 3, a hearing on the u.s. role in iraq. the senate foreign relations committee hears from u.s. ambassador james jeffrey and
the commander of u.s. forces there, general lloyd austin. >> sunday, book tv's indepth welcomes author and columnist r emet tyrrell. he's written over a half dozen books, including boy clinton, the conservative crackup and madam hillary and his latest, after the hangover, the conservative's road to recovery. join our three-hour conversation with your email, phone calls and tweets. sunday at noon eastern on book tv on c-span 2. >> now a behind-the-scenes look at "the new york times" with the newspaper's executive editor and washington bureau chief. this forum hosted by george washington university's global media institute is moderated by former tv network correspondent . this is an hour and 15 minutes.
>> from the national press club in washington, d.c., this is the cal report with marvin kalb. >> welcome to the national press club and the kalb report. our subject tonight, all the news that's fit to print, behind the scenes at the new york times. i don't know about you, but i am grateful for three things every day. one, that i get up in the morning. two, that i live in a free country. and, three, that copies of two newspapers are dropped off in front of my house every day, seven days a week. more reliable, i found, than the united states postal service. for me the newspaper is a
morning miracle. imagine stories from all over the world, all over the country, science, sports, medicine, economics, finance, truly a morning miracle essential to the functioning of an open and free society. one of my morning newspapers is "the new york times." arguably the most respected newspaper in the united states and certainly one of the best in the world. we are delighted to welcome executive editor bill keller and washington bureau chief to the national press club and to the kalb report. bill keller has been executive editor since 2003 and he has been with the paper since 1984. been a reporter since 1970. he's the bureau chief of the soviet union and south africa, he won a pulitzer prize for his coverage of the soviet union and has also been a columnist and managing editor of the
paper. dean has been with the times since 1990, though he did take seven years off to be managing editor and editor of the "los angeles times." he quit the "l.a. times" when he refused a corporate order to fire more journalists. he, too he has won a pulitzer prize. ok, bill and dean, i've called your newspaper a morning miracle and i mean it. i'm always amazed that what i can find in the newspaper. so how do you make a miracle? and, bill, i want to start with you with a couple of basic questions and sort of get the lay of the land. you work in new york which is the headquarters of the "new york times." how many people work for "the times"? >> well, for the news room, not counting everything from the delivery trucks to the advertising department, actual journalists it's a little more than 1,100. >> 1,100. >> that includes reporters,
editors, photographers, video gamers, clerks, about 1,100. >> but of the 1,100, how many are reporters who go out to cover stories? >> roughly 400. >> roughly 400 of the 1,100? and on a normal day when do you get in? >> i get in about 8:30. >> and what is your first meeting? who attends and what do you have it? >> we just changed our first meeting which for many years began at 10:30 and was mostly focused on sort of getting ready for the next day's printed paper. with are we now start at 0k and we devote our time pretty much equally to things that are thinking about for the printed newspaper and things we're thinking about for the home pages of the website. and so that's a meeting where we really look at, what are the stories, the actual running news stories first and foremost, how we're going to approach them, whether other editors at the table have thoughts on things they could
bring to it. >> who are the other editors? >> the heads of all of the various news departments, the metro desk, the national desk, the foreign desk, the business desk, culture, science and so on. >> how many? about a dozen? >> about a dozen. it ebbs and flows. for a while we didn't have an environment desk. now we do have an environment desk and that editor comes likewise. we have a media editor who used to be under the business report but is now more independent. it fluctuates. people come, the head of the video unit comes, head of graphics comes, head of photography comes. and particularly when we're talk about the website, we want to hear from them, what they've got planned to sort of keep the website feeling fresh and current through the day. >> how many of the meetings, formal meetings, besides from bumping into somebody in the hallway, do you have in the course of the day? >> well, there are two main meetings. that morning meeting and then there's a 4:00 meeting where we
pick the stories that are going to go on the front page the next day and now also talk about what's going to be on the home page of the website first thing in the morning. those are the two meetings that the day is kind of built around , that all the key players come to. i have a lot of other meetings i go to but those are the ones that affect the journalism. >> and, dean, you're representing the washington bureau. are you part of all of these meetings, too? >> sure. >> the two big ones? >> the bureau is on the phone for the meetings. we're on the speaker phone participating in the meeting and to amplify a little bit about what bill described, each desk describes what it thinks are its best stories of the day for the home page and for the front page of the print paper and you sort of start the process of making a pitch for why you think your story should get the best play. it's the beginning of a competition of the day, too. >> i see. and what do you think is your major responsibility representing washington? >> i think my major
responsibility is to sift through the sort of mix of real news of the day, feaux news of the day, if you, will and try to give bill the sense of the two or three significant stories of the day in washington. >> how many reporters work for you in washington? >> a total of about 45 people in the bureau, counting reporters, editors and others, and i guess probably about 28, 29 of them are reporters. >> will that make it the largest bureau outside of new york? >> yes. >> bill, what in the course of a day do you yourself have a sharp feel for what it is that's going to be "the new york times" the next day? >> it depends. on a week when there's, you know, just major breaking news, when the country is in turmoil or you have a state of the union address, some major event that you're watching very closely, you kind of know early
on in the day, what are the other pieces you're thinking about? in a slow news period, i may not know until the page one meeting at 4:00 and sometimes considerably later than that. we'll still, you know, be looking around for something that's substantive enough. it's moran art than a science, putting together the stories for the front page. but you want the page to feel sort of urgent and in the flow, not to seem optional or lightweight. >> but at the same time there are days when "the new york times" does not have a hard lead for the newspaper and you're now prepared to go with something that would, used to in the old days be scribed as a feature story -- described as a feature story. why do you do that? >> as a rule, i would rather put some piece of enterprising reporting that is not breaking news but something we discovered, i'd rather put that
at top of the front page than some incremental development in a running story that people will look at and say, so what? it's tempting to do that. dean can tell you that washington is a place where it's particularly tempting because, you know, a piece of legislation passes the subcommittee and then it passes the committee and then it gradually goes to the house and then it goes to the senate and then it goes, etc., and you can take each of those moments as an occasion to write a big front page story. but nothing much happened between step one and step two and step three. so we generally try torrell gate the more incremental news to inside stories and put the stuff out front that feels more momentous. even if it's not an actual event that happened but something that we just ran across in the course of our reporting. >> right. i remember about 20 years ago, so i did some research, on the front pages of "the new york times" and went back 30 years
ago, then 20, then 10 and then five and last year and what i found was that you used to run many more stories on the front page. you used to run many more hard news stories on the front page. you ran many fewer photographs on the front page and they were generally small. so the front page of the "new york times" today is quite different from what it was 15, 20 years ago. why the change? >> well, it's partly -- in the days when they would put 12 or 14 stories on the front page, most of them really didn't belong on the front pages. it was just the day when the newspaper was regarded as a sort of -- of lots of little or not so little things that were going on and, you know, even the slogan, all the news that fits to print, i think harkins back to a day when you were trying -- the aim of the
newspaper was to be comprehensive. we're going to tell you maybe only a little bit but a little bit about everything. and i think, you know, that slogan maybe describes an aspiration or a kind of mindset. but now we tend to be more selective, try to give you more depth, to tell you the stories that are not obvious or not -- in the days you're talking about, they used to put the cummings and goings of ships in the new york harbor on the front pages. there aren't that many ships coming and going in the new york harbor anymore and mostly they don't matter all that much to your average reader. >> but you talk about all the news that's fit to print and you say that there was a time when "the times" was a comprehensive newspaper, are you saying that it isn't now? >> yeah, i don't think there's any such thing as a comprehensive -- >> how would you describe "the times" today? >> we tell you what you need to know to be a well-informed citizen, across the board. but that doesn't mean that
every minor incremental development in a piece of legislation, that every inconclusive lawsuit, that everything that is news at some level is important enough to be. >> i accept that but why then so many feature stories when there are in fact hard news stories that could you put on the front page? >> what have you got against feature stories? [laughter] >> some of my favegry stories are feature stories. >> i am of the sort who believes that the newspaper, as it gets smaller, which is the times' d fate in recent years, as it is the fate of other newspapers, too, nothing distinctive about "the times," because you don't have that much more room now, you want to level with the reader and give us the hard news of the day. .
the community that are affected by an economy or events overseas but they carry the value of the news and help you understand what's going on in the world in the same way the news of some foreign official's speech or ribbon cutting would tell you. >> can i jump in? >> i would -- back with bill said. >> that is not surprising. [laughter] >> but i would say something.
newspapers were never comprehensive. i think the grand image of the comprehensive newspaper of 30, 40 years ago, they were sort of a little bit fake comprehensive. if you sat down with the editors, which i have, ran papers during that era, they would tell you the "new york times" and "washington post" fronted the british prime minister's speech but missed other parts of the world that were much more significant. they might have fronted the fourth movement of a bill from a house subcommittee to another committee but until very late the shifts in the way women interacted in the workplace. >> what you're describing now -- >> just to finish the thought, if you forgive me. i would argue that had newspapers have the sensibility they have now, they would have been covered and they were much
more significant than the announcement of the british prime minister's budget. and those would have been crafted as so-called feature stories but captured something much more significant at the time. >> that is entirely possible, but what you're describing are changes in american society. the idea that we did not focus in the news business on women, children, health is simply a fact. but that does not change the point about whether you are dealing with hard news or whether you are making an effort and presuming what bill is saying, which is give the reader what that reader should know on any given day about the world. >> i guess i would counter if somebody who worked in papers during that period but somebody who looked back at papers, that that is hard news. if you ask gene roberts who is
one of the editors at the "new york times," he was the national editor of the "new york times" and before that, he was a correspondent in the south during the civil rights movement. if you asked him what are the biggest stories that he missed as a journalist, none of them would have been the kinds of stories that people would characterize as hard news. he would dribe them as shifts in the south, he would describe them as the biggest stories that the newspapers missed whether focusing on incremental news, movement of blacks from the south to the north, changes in the workplace, events like kent state. >> i have no argument what you said. every one of those could have been and would have been a hard-news story. if 50,000 blacks move from a
small town up to detroit. when they got to detroit and effect it had on detroit, that was a news story. >> it didn't happen that way, it didn't happen as an event. it didn't happen on monday, it oozed over years. >> when people talk about hard news, they tend to mean events. the president did something today, something concrete happened. there was an accident, disaster of some sort. that's what people talk about when they mean hard news but that doesn't cover the whole realm of investigative news that is lying out there to be harvested by reporters, it requires time and digging, but i'm sure you would agree, it is some of the most worth while journalism that we do. >> i agree. what is your competition today?
that's a good question. it's something we ask ourselves a lot. >> "washington post," "wall street journal." worldwide web? >> it is all of the above in different ways. i still look at newspapers and newspaper web sites, but even that category has extended beyond the media, people who compete with us for circulation on the ground in the u.s. i read british web sites, for example, wwb "guardian," "the telegraph." the "washington post" is a competitor. "wall street journal" is a competitor because like "the times," it is a national newspaper, not just a regional newspaper. i look at politico, huffington post and daily beast or somebody looks at them and tells me because i can't spend the whole day. >> i understand, what then, at
the end of that day, is your feeling about the major competition? what would bother you the most if a web had a story you didn't have or the "wall street journal"? >> surprisingly small margin, "wall street journal." it would have been a larger margin and now i don't like to be beaten by anybody. and the fact that someone beats us on a substantial web site, means it will be all over the place. i regard them all as competitors and not just for the stories. they are competing, politico, huffington post are competing for talent and they are hiring people. they are competing with us in the field of innovation. i don't regard the huffington post as a particularly aggressive competitor on
coverage of international affairs but the way they use social media is instructtive and we watch that. >> we are describing and talking about a very come pet -- competitive world in jourmism today. does this mean you have set what some people have called certain quotas for reporters that those who get more hits on a story they have done on a web site might be rewarded financially, better assignments? >> no. we have reporters who write four or five stories a year. and they tend to be big truly important, groundbreaking investigative stories and we have people who write 400 stories a year and most people fall in between. there is a general question of productivity. if somebody is not covering their assignment as aggressively
as they should be and getting beaten -- but no, we don't measure the hits to their web site or pay or promote them accordingly. >> you have been editor-in-chief of a major newspaper now and been around journalism for a while now. your colleague jim roberts says you live in a new time frame in which you work, no longer 24/7, 24 hours a day, seven days a week he says it's 14 and 40 minutes a day and seven days a week. that describes a totally new psychology in journalism. how do you manage that at a major newspaper? >> it's tricky. it's funny, a lot of what we do today with balancing the web site and the print paper reminds
me of the afternoon paper i started in new orleans that was remarkably similar. when you came in in the morning, you had to come up with a way to move the ball for the afternoon editions and cover a story from the morning paper. it's tricky to manage. it requires a lot more decision making, faster off-the-mark decision making. you asked earlier what do i see my role? and i said i see my role of picking the two or three most important stories of the day. i think that that shifts constantly throughout the day. you have to work harder to manage, for instance, the white house reporter's time. white house reporter now in the pre-web area, white house reporter could go to a press conference at 10:30 and go to lunch after. and now the expectation --
>> no lunch. >> no lunch. the reasonable expectation is we have to figure out a way to file a story for the web shortly after the press conference, assuming it's an important enough press conference and we have to start thinking about what are we going to provide the reader for the print paper and maybe the reader later in the day. so it's trickier. >> one of the things in my mind when congresswoman gabrielle giffords was shot, the times reported on its web site that she was killed. you reported that not because you had somebody in tucson who fed you that information, you reported that because cnn and npr had said she was killed. in other words, you used other news organizations as your sources. now i checked this. you did say -- news
organizations say she was killed. technically that's an accurate statement, but it was dead wrong. so how do you avoid in the future, how do you avoid that kind of blunder? >> there is no such thing as an ok mistake whether it's -- and especially if it is one of that magnitude even though it was on the web site for seven minutes before it was corrected does not justify it. the number you protect it is a number of ways. first of all, you send a clear message to reporters that it's nice to get it first, but most important to get it right. >> these are the editors who made that call. >> it was a rewrite man and it slipped passed an editor. second thing you do is you have not just one usually, but a couple of editors who look at the story before it goes up on
the web site and whose job it is to challenge stories that aren't supported. and third thing, you teach people to be explicit in the story about what you don't know. and all the things we try to do. i make no excuses for that particular blunder and several people got a finger wagging over that, but the fact is, it doesn't happen all that often and kind of miraculous when you think about it. how do you put out a daily newspaper with all the authority of the "new york times" and still keep up with the daily news reports where things are happening all the time. and my answer is, almost every day, we do it. >> is the editing process for the newspaper the same as the editing process for the web story?
>> yes and no. the standards are the same. and in most cases, it goes through the same layers of editing. but it does it at an accelerated pace. it's like the editing that a story gets on a tight deadline and before the internet, a story that broke 30 minutes before deadline did not get the same editorial attention as the story that broke in the morning. it just didn't. >> let me take a minute just to remind our radio, television and web site audiences that they are watching and listening to the "kalb report and my guests are dean baquet and bill keller of the "new york times." sometimes you have news and an opinion and there should be a wall between the two. your ombudsman says and i quote, the newspapers are laced with
analytical and opinion pieces that were against the premise that the news is just the news, unquote. many conservatives criticize the times as being a liberal, left-wing newspaper and that those views get into the news part of your newspaper. why do you allow this to happen? >> we don't allow it to happen. [laughter] >> but it happens almost every day. >> according to art or according to you? >> according to people who read the "new york times" for many, many years. what i'm getting at here, bill, there is more analysis getting into commentary and the editorial side of reporting than a straight, hard-news story. >> i don't mind analysis, in fact i encourage it.
the discipline of objectivity or i am parblet is something that is drilled into american reporters from their first day on the job, different from a lot of other countries where the press is partisan. you declare your biases up front and people judge it accordingly. it's an aspiration and they bring their own beliefs to their job and they are expected, just as judges are supposed to set their personal prejudice aside, reporters and editors are expected to lay their personal prejudice aside in assessing the facts of a news story. and i don't believe -- >> don't you believe that there is more opinion commentary, analysis today in the paper however you choose to define it than there was 10 years ago? and if the answer is yes, tell
me why. >> there is a lot more analysis because i think that's what readers want and expect of the people who actually have witnessed events and gathered the information. that reporters who -- >> aren't you making that assumption that that's what they want? how do you know that? maybe they want the straight news story and not your opinion. >> they don't get my opinion, but if we're going to write a piece on a particular political figure, then supplying some context to his remarks or his activities is a service to readers, i think. i don't think any reporter is justified in saying congressman x is wrong or he is a fool or unqualified, but you are certainly justified and expected to say, here's where the views of his come from and his
constituency is and here's what he listens to and what he said in the past. that is analysis and supplies the context without which the bare facts are not much use to readers. >> there has been a certain amount of opinion. there is a thick line between opinion and analysis. but there there has been a certain amount of opinion in newspapers. book reviews are opinion. theater critics offer their opinion. >> that's different than covering the white house and offering -- >> i guess what i'm going to argue is, the person in charge of the white house, you aren't going to -- you will see, i would argue, cogent analysis coming from the white house. it's an imperfect creature, the newspaper is. there is an expectation today
that the audience does not want us to any longer say barack obama gives a speech at a certain time of day and barack obama said x yesterday. i think there is an expectation and i'm going to make the case again that newspapers may have failed in not doing it 25 years ago. there is an expectation that the writer put some of that in some context, expectation that the writer says, reminds people that the president who is forced to make a certain kind of comment on a foreign policy issue because his last foreign policy issues were struggles. if you find us crossing the line farther they are than that in the coverage of that speech, i would say that's a mistake. but i don't think that's a common occurrence. >> you are both acknowledging this there is more analysis in
the paper today because your judgment is that the reader wants that rather than a resuscitation of the straight story? they want -- >> you're saying they want your analysis of what the president meant. it reminds me in the vietnam war there was 5:00 fawleys in saigon where they were told what happened that day when the reporter was watching it that day. doesn't need the analysis of the colonel to tell them. and i'm only raising the question, but you have answered it in a way, that maybe what people want is less of the analysis, unless maybe you have done studies on this and you have concluded -- >> one thing i may have stressed pretty much, when i say it's the reader's expectation, i'm not
saying there is a survey and the "new york times" and other american newspapers are ewing to the dictates of the leadershipship survey. the overall newspaper or mission, which is to explain the most important events, to describe and lay out the most important events of the day before in the jim roberts' resuscitation the hour before, the way of that hasn't changed. it was different 60 years ago. that's not so much, based on readership surveys but if you have a core mission that you are responsible for, you have to change in the way you deliver it. >> absolutely. let's call about this new thing called a pay wall. that allows me to gain access t to your web site if i pay for that access. i would like to project say a
year or so into the future. what does that look like best you can estimate now? >> there are many different varieties and species of page online news. the one that we are adopting later this year is what we call a metered model and get a certain amount for free and beyond that point you are expected to subscribe. the most visitors, casual visitors to the web site will never encounter that little billboard that says we would like you to subscribe. and people who are home subscribers of the print paper won't encounter it either. what we're saying is people who use the "new york times" web site as their web site and something they come back to over and over and treasure it, should
pay something for it. we don't want to scare away readers and we are actually prepared to make adjustments along the way so we don't lose a lot of the traffic to our web site, which advertisers particularly like and pay a tidy sum for. >> if i have a subscription to the "new york times" and i then have access to your web site. >> yeah. >> as you look into the future, that kind of a business model will continue? >> i believe so. >> and so you're dealing mostly, when we talk about this pay wall, what is on the web. and i'm wondering as you make your calculations now between the printed newspaper and the web, what is more important to you? how many people show up in both worlds? do more people read the paper than read the web?
>> they are different questions. the printed newspaper still supplies the overwhelming majority of the revenues but many more people come to us on the web rather than the newspaper. there is one million subscriptions to the printed newspaper each day. we get as many as 50 million people who come each month. not quite an apples to apples comparison but those are the member tricks that the web provides. the numbers vary. there is a rating and couple of other ratings, but the round number is something like 50 million people worldwide come to the "new york times" web site every month. >> and that number is growing where the print circulation is not. >> do you have a separate staff for the newspaper and a separate
staff for the web site? >> not anymore or almost not anymore. when the web site started out, it was a rough operation and it was in a separate building. five or six years ago, we decided that that was a big mistake. you didn't want to treat the web site like an afterthought. you were cheating people who came to the newspaper online of this experienced news staff. and so we have been gradually remaking it into a single news room and it's pretty much there. >> i have an old-fashioned question which always bugs me. the reporter today working for "the times" or cbs or "the post" works much harder than we did 20, 30, 40 years ago and that is because that reporter has to service so much.
it's the paper, it's the web site and you find them on radio and television and it's a big deal. when does a reporter have a chance just to think rather than produce? is there a moment to reflect on what is going on in the world? >> that's a really good question and one that has dogged all news organizations as we moved into this digital realm and don't turn them into ham steers on wheels and making updates. we have done a number of things. we created a rewrite bank. you have to learn a certain amount of discretion in the hands of the reporter. if they say, i need more time to think about this, we can provide that. we will do that. we will provide the web version, a bank of rewrite people or to another reporter. >> don't get a demerit for that, do you?
>> no. it is true that people have adapted -- reporters don't like to let go of their story to somebody else so more and more of them have come to filing for the web is filing their first draft and continue to revise over the course of the day. at the end of the day, they have the story about as good as it's going to get. >> the reporter's first responsibility when he or she comes upon it, a fact or insight, to provide it to the web? >> if they can do that quickly in a way we can get it up on the web site and liberate them to do additional reporting, dig down, some analysis to the piece, then, yes. but we try to keep delivery in the hands of the reporter because it really is -- you know, we aren't a wire service. i love wire services, but the
premium is on speed. i think people come to the "new york times" for a kind of authority because they trust us to get it right and explain it in a sense that makes sense to them. >> but i have a feeling -- for give me, you are living in a world that operates by speed. 14, 40/seven. psychology is different. you are asked to do something for the web the minute you have something, put it on the web. if you are going to write something decent, you want to sit down and talk to somebody and then write it. that takes time. >> that's true. >> so what's the responsibility of the journalist now to deal just with the web at that point? does he alert dean in washington if you have a washington reporter doing this and say hey,
i got something really good but i have to write it first for the web and you allow him to do that? >> sure. we should differentiate between the way you described it, the sort of factoid. people don't come to the "new york times" for the factoid where it is something large. if a reporter wandered into my office with a story about an unimportant appointment and i had to balance that against a more important story, i'm going to say don't push -- and i think bill would agree, don't put the unimportant factoid on the web. a reporter who knows he is competing against the "washington post" or the "wall street journal" or somebody else on a story who is ready to write the story at 2:00 in the
afternoon, i want that story out by 2:00 in the afternoon and that's a judgment we make all the time. >> let's talk about the wikileaks phenomenon for a bit. it is the leaking of secret government cables, many of them embarrassing, harmful to the united states. the -- "the times" has published many stories and you have written about it eloquently in defending "the times'" decision. is wikileaks, which seems to have a very specific anti-american flavor, impulse, is wikileaks a legitimate source for the "new york times"? >> well, wikileaks is a source.
and sources tend to come with agendas. they come with biases and come with distateful biases. it is true wikileaks, to the accident you can define an ideology, it is anti-institutions, anti-important government, anti-united states. but every source comes to you with some kind of agenda. what you have to do is focus on the information that you get. is the information true, is it valid, is it news worthy and in our relationship with wikileaks, we said at the outset and we knew a fair amount about this organization and their biases and their agenda and we made it very clear we were going to treat them as a source and nothing more than that. we will take their information
that they offer us, we will vet it, supply context, censor -- censor it. and we did not consult wikileaks on what we would write about or write about on any given subject. >> do you believe that wikileaks is a legitimate news organization? deserving of the first amendment privileges that the "new york times" enjoys. >> those are two questions. >> answer both. >> i will more or less answer them in part because i'm not a lawyer and i think somebody who has a job like mine should be humble as to who gets to call themselves a journalist and who doesn't. wikileaks is not in my ball park of journalism. they do not practice the
journalism we practice at "new york times" or most serious news organizations. they are a vigilante group. whether they should be afforded first amendment protection, they are not only afforded to the press. and it's a very tricky question for lawyers to parse. what's the difference between someone who takes raw material and publishes it on a web site and somebody likes it publishes in a newspaper. >> the "new york times" became the enabler of wikileaks by publishing a lot of stories based on the cables that wikileaks provided. when i use the word enabler, i'm not using that in a positive way.
>> i think it's the wrong word. wikileaks and its leaders were capable of publishing the material on their own. >> wikileaks would have published it on their own? >> published it on a web site available to anyone and it would have circulated through the blogo atmosphere in a day and they would have been cherry-picking out the information and using it in some interesting ways, alarming ways, but it would be published. >> there is a difference between daniel ellsburg and the papers. >> daniel elseburg took the pentagon papers and went to congress to try to get legal action against the war. he went to harvard university, i don't know why.
>> in the end, he needed the "new york times." we gave a lot more attention other than other news organizations that published it. but it came out in a much more publicly way. >> not arguing that point. i totally agree with you. the question i'm getting at is this, if the "new york times" had not published all of those stories and it had been left to the guardian in england and couple of newspapers around the world, it would have been reported in the united states on page 16 of "the times." >> you are so wrong. it would have been on the front page. the day after "the guardian" published its stories, versions would have been on the front
page of every story, cnn. >> do you believe you broke many news stories? do you believe that wikileaks gave you one new thing that you didn't know about afghanistan? >> yes, actually. i thought i learned a lot from those reports. i realize one of the criticisms that has been launched against these documents, they didn't tell us anything profoundly new about the world. most news does not tell you profoundly new about the world. it moves in inches and feet. wikileaks told us, for example, that the people who are running the war in afghanistan have grave misgivings in the role that pakistan plays. >>
i think the debate over whether or not wikileaks had a dramatic new factoid, you mean something that said head of state took a bribe and you didn't know about it, i think that is an odd argument. there is no question as somebody who has edited and been involved in a bunch of stories about afghanistan and war in iraq. there is no question that wikileaks added tremendously to the understanding. it is one thing to have a second, thirdhand reporting that says the rulers of countries in
the same country as iran are very nervous about the rise of iran and iran's nuclear capability, but another thing to have it in the words of the diplomats. but those were rich documents. put aside the debate over what wikileaks provided. isn't it unimaginable to anybody that the "new york times" would have had the arrogance to have this stuff and not public issue it. whenever the question has been raised, "new york times" be hafing in an arrogant way, enabling wikileaks, working with wikileaks, to me, the most arrogant thing the "new york times" could have done was to have this stuff, look at it and say, this is interesting, let's have an ethical debate, put it
back in the computer and have lunch. >> you misread me the thrust of my questions is based on a profound respect for the "new york times" and position of the "new york times" in american journalism and global journalism so when bill keller makes a decision, he is making a decision not just for the times, but making a decision for american journalism, too. now that puts you in a very special position. and i think we've done that subject and i want to move on. rupert murdoch. >> who? [laughter]
>> is he good for journalism? >> he is spending a lot of money employing journalists, particularly the way the market for journalists has been over the last few years, i have to applaud that. and i think he loves news of a particular time. >> including -- >> well, his personal pace is more ""new york post" kind of journalism, but bought a wide range of journalism and invested in a wide range of journalism and that's a good thing. i think his most lasting effect in this country is fox news. >> and what is the effect of fox news on american journalism. >> i think the effect of fox news on american public life is to create a level of sin sism about the news in general.
it has contributed to the sense that they're all just out there with a political agenda, whether fox is just more overt about it. and i think that's unhealthy. and i think fox has -- we have had a lot of talk since the gabby giffords attempted murder about civility and our national discourse and i make no connection between the guy who shot those people in tucson and the national discourse, but it is true that the national discourse is more polarized and sfrideent than it has been in the past and to some extent, i would lay that at the feet of rupert murdoch, yes. >> quick question. you said of bob woodward of the "washington post," that he wrote quote, wrote accounts of the innermost deliberations of our
government, would the times hire bob woodward? >> in a heartbeat. i have enormous admiration for bob woodward and what he has done and i have read a lot of bob woodward. the point of that remark was, in washington, officials complain about secrets when they don't like them. but they collaborate in the dissemination of secrets when they think it will serve their purpose and people talk to bob woodward because they think it's a way of furthering their agenda. >> we have a minute-and-a-half left. there are a lot of journalism students out here. would you tell them to plunge into journalism or go to law school? [laughter] >> you made the choice easy. of course i would encourage them to go into it.
first of all, there are a number of places that are hiring again, not for large sums of money, but then most of us didn't start getting large sums of money in this business either. what i generally tell aspiring journalists is let's say the worst case scenario happened and news organizations dissolved and it becomes a free-for-al and if you can master the skills that you are supposed to master, gt they aring information, vetting it, sorting it, making sense of it and presenting it in a way that is accessible and engaging, you can find work in a lot of fields. there are a lot of fields from the law to science where those skills will serve you extremely well. >> and dean, do you buy into that? >> sure. you would tell these kids to do it? >> with the rise of the web,
it's probably more of a blast now for kids going into journalism than it would have been 10 years ago. >> that's fantastic. our time's up. and i thank first our wonderful audience. i want to thank our radio, television and internet audiences all over the country and for that matter, all over the world. but most of all, i want to thank our two guests, bill keller, and dean baquet, two remarkable reporters representing the "new york times." [applause] >> and all of you out there, enjoy a free press in a free society. i'm marvin kalb and good night and good luck. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
>> we now have an opportunity for you to ask the questions that you wish and what you have to do -- where is that microphone -- back there. and the microphone right over here on the right. so please go to the microphones, ask a question. identify yourself and if i have the impression you are about to make a speech, i'm going to cut you off. so i'm alerting you right now. >> i'm a journalism student at george washington. my question goes back to a different direction. mr. keller, when you originally published the first round of wikileaks' information, you included an editor's note and you answered readers' comments and questions. do you think in the changing media environment it's important
to open the door to your editorial room and editorial decisions like that? >> yes, i do. it is unavoidable but it's useful to do that. i'm sure marvin can cite you polls that will show the steady decline of trust in the american media. and i take those polls with a grain of salt, they lump all the media into one basket, like members of congress. if you ask people what they think members of congress, it's thumbs down but their own member of congress it's thumbs up. and i think it is a useful way to explain some of that and why we do it. >> are you going to be doing that on a regular basis, not in response to a specific story, but just every month, you are
going to do a column? >> well, we have been doing it on a fairly regular basis and try to mix it up. different people in the news room will take questions, reporters, editors. we have done that with no particular prompting and done them around particular stories that generated a lot of controversy. >> yes. >> i'm an independent reporter since 1968. in the rich old days there was smugness among the established press do you see acceptance of the bloggers and the independent journalists? >> some of my best friends are bloggers and my employees are bloggers. we have 50 blogs. we are past the point where a blogger is a term of a program.
there are bad blogs and good blogs, smart ones and not so smart ones and there are ones that are read by millions and others with two or three people. any generalization is unfair. the blog as a forum is exciting and allows you to do things that more conventional journalistic form at don't and the blogo sphere has drawn people into journalism. >> do you have a blog? >> no. >> dean, do you have one? >> no. >> are you going to have one? >> they are very time consuming and we have full-time jobs. >> do well -- the most effective blogs have something to say and it's not just somebody who just
sort of throws out whatever ideas -- and one downside of being an editor is that you are farther and farther away from the news. >> half a dozen times or so, i have gone online to have an open discussion with readers is pretty much a blog experience. and it's kind of fun. >> when you say there are 50 people at the -- at "the times" have blogs, reporters? >> yeah. some of them are hired to be blogs. tara parker pope runs one of the most popular blogs and we take her blog material and print it in the newspaper. her job is to be the health blogger for the "new york times." >> james reed, a student at george washington university. over the course of its history, "new york times" has been
awarded honors including four pulitzer prizers. how does the "new york times" hope to maintain its journalistic excellence in the new digital age? >> well, i think we are already doing that. much of the conversation tonight touched on some aspects -- i mean, moving from principally print to principally digital presents some challenges. the pace of everything is accelerated and there is a danger that you make stupid mistakes and you have to build safeguards against that. the internet is a ferocious venue of opinions and we talked about division between news and opinion and the temptation to slip into the voice is a danger we have to guard against. but at the same time, there are tremendous things you can do
online that you can't do in print. if you look at how the "new york times" covered up heefals in egypt, we have a videographer on the ground who is doing the kind of television work that i think most television networks would be proud of. >> it's a particular malady of journalists because we do it in the way that we cover things, that we jump right to the negative result of events. but the reality is the rise of the internet and newspapers has been -- is like the greatest thing that has hit us since sliced bread. far more people read us online than before. far more people are reading us. if you read culture criticism in american newspapers, when i was a kid growing up in new orleans, if you read a review, you only
had access to the -- "the times." now you can read the "new york times," "the guardian." the world has gotten bigger. we shouldn't focus so much on the pressure to maintain a standard as much as we should focus on this explosion has made us more relevant, better, better read. >> news gathering tool is tremendous, things that come in through social media. we did a seryees on putin's russia one of our correspondent's came into us. we published it on a russian blog site and har very investigated comments and translated those back into english so the russian readership enriched our stories about russia. the guy who came up with that idea is a traditional print
journalist who relished the possibilities of this new tool that we have. >> bill just -- something that just occurred to me, the boggers who work for the "new york times," are they encouraged to give their opinions? >> no. except, several of the columnists on the op ed page will have a license. they have blogs, too. nick is a prolific brogger and also a wonderful reporter, but, know, the people who blog for the news reports for the "new york times" are not sanctioned to give opinions. some of those blogs are the work of individuals. some of them are collective endeavors. we have one called the caucus, and a number of reporters contribute to. >> and michael is the lead reporter and follows the same standards that works for me in the washington bureauo and
follows the same standards and is a traditional washington reporter and we hired him from the "washington post." >> one of my students. >> good evening. i'm ethan marin, as a lawyer, i second the call to go to journalism school. but regarding wikileaks, to me one of the interesting questions is i'm a big open government guy and i believe in open government and as journalists and reporters you clearly have a strong interest in open government. and i'm wondering about the cost of open government, running with the wikileaks' material. because to some extent it is likely to have and will continue to have the effect of reaction of people in congress, people in government saying, whoa, this leaking, this transparency was a bad thing, so we won't
necessarily support things like foia, posting documents and reports. >> can i ask you a question. >> my question is, do you think there has been a cost and reaction and do you think it -- that the cost was worth the benefit of running this material? thank you. >> i share the concern and the one fear that has sort of nickeled at the back of my brain throughout this process is that it might become a pretext for people who much don't like the freedom the press has to essentially criminalize the publication of secrets, amend the espionage act or make criminals out of journalists. that has worried me. and so far, and i can't fortell
the future and there hasn't been a serious effort to do that. and clearly, it's safe to say, diplomacy hasn't stopped in its tracks, it wasn't that dire consequence that some people were predicting. so, if there has been a cost, so far, i don't see it as a cost that would have justified withholding the information. >> first, thank you for the excellent publication and the very interesting evening. i'm dan diamond and i'm a loyal subscriber and i visited the site 50 million times last month. i was privileged to hear a conversation, dean remembered this, it was moderated by another brother on a similar topic and that topic came up on the front page. and two years ago, the question was, there is a story on the
front page about a tv network's decision to move one of their shows to a certain hour and was that worthy of front-page coverage. that was "jay leno show" and moving to 10:00 p.m. in terms of this week, with the turmoil in egypt occupying so much of the front page, i'm curious what the competition is like to get other news fronted and if you hold off on enterprise reporting, if it's that much more -- what the calculation is. >> it's been a very hard week for non-egypt news to elbow its way on the front page. i don't think would argue that egypt is not equally important and we have a lot of good reporters on the ground there doing great work.
you know, yeah, it probably means that some stories that would have been on the front page could put inside. it means that some stories that are holdable are being held. that's the tradeoff you make. i spent much of my life trying to assure reporters that the front page isn't the only page of the newspaper. not a one of them believe me. >> if the story is being held, would it be put on the web? >> it depends. if we have an investigative piece that is not competitive, i mean, sometimes we do break investigative pieces on the web, but if we don't know how quickly to get it into the print paper, we may hold it for a week like this. >> i'm with pbs mediaship. i'm wondering about the collaboration with web-only organizations like pro publica
and perhaps like journalism schools and you have a collaboration with studio 20. do you see that happening in the future and what other organizations are you looking to work with? >> i think so. we have moved pretty tentatively and carefully into that realm. we are working with pro-publica on a piece on a hospital in new orleans, which won a pule its zer prize. the people who run the place are editors that we have known and respected for a number of years and steve has worked for me. we have collaborations in the san francisco bay area, in chicago and in texas with online journalism orgiz